New to this site and community (as of March 2014) as I'm ramping up a build for the first time in 5 years. Love this site! It's hurt the wallet a little though-- it's nudged me towards some more customization than I've ever considered doing on past builds.
Started tinkering with hardware in 95-96 when I upgraded several components of a store-bought Pentium PC. Built my first computer from scratch in 1997 (Intel Pentium), built 4 more between 2000-2004 (all AMD-based), and then once again in 2009 (this time Intel core i7-920 as a Hackintosh).
Kinda nuts how things have changed in the last 20 years. I have never been (and may never be) a high-end gamer-- but I've always liked being able to play some games and I do use my machines for video encoding, photography and graphic design work.